Willamette Law Online

Oregon Court of Appeals


State v. Taylor

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 05-16-2012
Case #: A144468
Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Edmonds, S.J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A144468.pdf

Criminal Procedure: For a police inventory procedure to be valid, it must limit the discretion of the officers in searching and opening containers seized from arrested individuals. If the procedure gives too much discretion, it is constitutionally invalid.

Defendant appealed the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress. Defendant was arrested on suspicion of domestic assault and searched for weapons. During the search, the officer found a closed cigarette box and, without a warrant, opened it, discovering methamphetamine. The trial court found that, though unlawfully obtained, the police would still have discovered it through their inventory policy. Defendant argued that the policy was unconstitutional. The Court of Appeals found that the police inventory policy granted too much discretion because it did not constrain the discretion of officers in searching containers that they inventoried. Reversed and remanded.